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Seeking global generality: a critique for mangrove modellers

Peter J. Clarke

School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia. Email: pclarke1@une.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13326
Submitted: 19 November 2013  Accepted: 3 February 2014   Published online: 7 July 2014


 
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Abstract

Large datasets have allowed more generality in ecology than ever before but this may come at a cost of precision and realism. Modelling the dominance of mangrove species on the basis of observational data of few abiotic variables is an example of where this comes at a cost of realism. This is because the multi-factorial and inter-correlated nature of abiotic and biotic variables that limit the distribution of mangroves cannot be accounted for in statistical models on the basis of few observational data. The solution to the seemingly intractable problem of achieving general explanations is to better coordinate comparative and experimental research across a global range of mangrove environments.

Additional keywords: experimentation, predation, realized niche, sea-level rise, zonation.


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